The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Urgent need of help

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Carmen Savu's picture
Carmen Savu

Urgent need of help

Hello everybody! I am Romanian, my name is Carmen, and I am a beginner home baker, since January this year. I started baking following Codruta (that you all know already)'s recips and indications. I am in an urgent need of help this evening. My oven just broke with two Seed Sourdough Breads in it and two others retarding in the fridge. What should I do :(? I believe I should leave the first two in the oven fosr some hours, hoping they will bake grace to the remanent heat from the baking stone. Any other ideas? What about the other two from the fridge? Would it be a solution to freeze them and bake them after I buy a new oven? Thank you very much!

A very sad Carmen :((

steven DB's picture
steven DB

Sorry to hear that, Carmen. The same thing happened to me once. It was actually my first sourdough and it had proofed beautifully. So I put the pizza stones in my gas BBQ outside, let it get very hot, and it baked great! Freezing the dough could maybe work too. Good Luck.

Carmen Savu's picture
Carmen Savu

Thank you, Steven! Unfortunatelly for me, I live in an apartment, so I don't have a BBQ. I'm also thinking of going to a friend's house tomorrow morning and bake them there. This, if they don't overproof... I'll put the fridge on a lower temp, maybe they'll survive.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Can you freeze the retarded loaves and did the loaves bake enough to set (so they don't fall) but not be brown? If they did, then you can freeze those also.

Carmen Savu's picture
Carmen Savu

Clazar, how do I freeze the retarded loaves? I leave them into the bannetons (wood pulp)? And what do I do after I find an oven, I leave the loaves at room temp or into the fridge until they defrost? The ones from the oven have already got a nice crust, but not brown at all, so I'll put them to the freezer also? Thank you very much!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Hi Carmen,

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf.  Your problem is unfortunate but you have identified your best solution in using a neighbor's oven.

Good luck,

Jeff

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Jeff is correct- an oven would be best. I have frozen rolls before they are risen and after they are risen but only a few times. I have never frozen a whole loaf of dough but I understand others here have done that. To successfully bake,  I believe you remove the dough from the freezer and leave at room temp until it is mostly defrosted. If it is already risen before freezing, then bake. If it needs to rise more, then allow to rise and bake as usual. I would think that drying out of the surface may be a problem and while you don't want to cover it when it just comes out of the freezer, you might want to cover it so that it thaws out more evenly and a dry skin does not develop.

Not an ideal circumstance but I hope you were able to save it.

Carmen Savu's picture
Carmen Savu

I couldn't find anyone whose oven to use. I'll go to my parents' house this after-noon and bake all four breads. In the end, I frosted them all, we'll see if it was a good decision. I'm very anxious. I've already taken them out of the freezer and let them slowly defrost at room temp. I'll bake them one hour from now on. Thank's everyone, I'll let you know how it ends.

Carmen Savu's picture
Carmen Savu

These are the two loaves freezed after retarding in the fridge for 12 hrs. I defrosted them at room temp, for about 3 hrs before baking. On the seam side they were pretty humid, slightly sticky. I used a baking stone and a steam sistem with hot water thrown over hot lava rocks. But the oven was a gas one, with only one burner, on the down side. I suppose that's why the loaves are so pale on the upper side even though the bottoms are almost burnt. On the other hand, the crumb is a little wet, so maybe I would have baked them a little longer than 45 min.

The other two loaves, that were in the oven when it broke, look better in colour, but I haven't sliced them yet to see the crumb.

Hope my "adventure" will be of some help for others :). Happy baking to you all and thank you again for your advices!

Carmen

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Carmen,

While I realize that the loaves are not perfect, they are most wonderful in light of all your obstacles.  When you have everything working I have no doubt that all your breads will be great.

Jeff

Carmen Savu's picture
Carmen Savu

Thank you, Jeff! It means a lot coming from you :).